I have been keeping up with multiple websites on this and Office Depot’s poor excuse of customer relations. For me, I haven’t had much problems in getting discounts, but maybe it’s because I shop in Los Angeles. A year or two ago, someone posted info on how to get additional discounts on purchases at most retail chains, which worked successfully (I got two LCDs at that time). I recently went to Office Depot to get a price-match done on a 500gb WD, which prompted the salesperson to verify with Costco as to the discounts, SKU/model #. He mentioned that each store is capable of matching prices, as well as ordering stock to be delivered if the product is not available at the store. The most likely reason a store would be out of stock is if there is a crazy special that week, but usually, neighboring stores will likely to have it. Only in rare cases, such as rain checks, are certain products/special not available.
With the economy slowing down, companies are doing their best to stay profitable. Price-matching, returns, and exchanges are all calculated into the scheme of daily operation (somewhere along the lines of 1-8% of total gross sales). If stores are worried about commissions or profit sharing, the more products sold would help the company. Items just sitting in warehouses are depreciating daily, so the fast they are sold, the better for the company. Discounts from price-matching are usually taken care of by corporate, and shouldn’t affect the individual stores total sales.
Aftermarket service and warranties are big business, but not worth it (unless it’s for a car or similar high-priced product). If a product, if properly used, is going to break, it’ll break within the first month to first year. That is why good high-end gaming pc manufacturers offer limited warranties to consumers for free. Most products will exceed the life of an extended warranty, which the money spent on the warranty could’ve been put into a money market to gain interest.
We all are doing our best to survive in the slump of the world economy. Just know that each person you encounter are doing the same, but to remind one another to keep a strong ethical approach. The ones who are at fault at Best Buy and Office Depot are doing things to survive, even though they know it’s wrong. I’m sure that Best Buy and Office Depot will announce changes to business operations for the benefit of consumer relations. If they don’t, they’ll suffer the fate of Circuit City.